Mediaphyter – A Communications Cocktail

Quick’n’Dirty Podcast: Episode 8 Recap

qnd_logoLast week’s Quick’n’Dirty podcast was a blast, even if we were missing our most important ingredient — my c0host! Aaron Strout was off vacationing with his family so I was on my own, well not really.

I had a guest co-host in Kyle Flaherty, who I always claim is my mentor, and we had a fabulous time. For those of you who don’t know Kyle he is an incredibly sharp blogger and also manages marketing for Breaking Point Systems.

Our special guest this week was Rick Calvert of Blog World and New Media Expo. We talked about all of the exciting stuff coming up in the fall, and Rick thinks this particular conference is for the geekiest of the social media set. “Other conferences include social media, but this conference is all about social media,” he said. Yes. That’s a geek gathering, for sure.

Take a listen to the replay (or search for QuicknDirty on iTunes) for more from the interview with Rick.

In other news:

  • Social Network: Kyle and I talked about the coolness that is Shelfari, a book-sharing social network site. Every user has a (you guessed it) shelf on which you “store” books you’ve read, books you want to read, and books you’re currently reading. You can write reviews, share with friends, connect with like-minded readers, and even create a wish list. Downside? There’s seemingly no easy way to buy books off of hte wish list, should you want to do so. Overall, a cool social network.
  • Featured Twitterer: Um, so this guy Jerry Remy aka RemDawg. Apparently lots of Red Sox and baseball fans know who he is. And thankfully, Kyle knew who he was, being a Red Sox fan and all. He seems to be an icon among Red Sox Nation and has extended his presence to Twitter — much to the joy of his fans. If you’re a fan of Boston, you should follow RemDawg on Twitter. (Disclaimer: I watch hockey and only hockey. For enthusiasm, listen to Kyle go on and on during the replay).
  • Point / Counterpoint: Last week I wrote a feature that explored the psychological impact of social media fame on the brand-holders and their co-workers and loved ones. I asked the question, can a visible personal brand ruin your life? Kyle and I discussed the challenges of managing a public presence with protecting and uplifting workplace and home place relationships, and share some personal examples of our own.

Again, you can hear it all on the replay or you can search QuicknDirty on iTunes and subscribe to the podcast!

This week: Our very special guest will be Michael Feferman, digital director of C3 and we’ll also talk about the merits (and woes) of sponsored blogging and tweeting during our point / counterpoint. Join us at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 30 at the Blog Talk Radio site!

I also want to throw out yet another thank you to Kenneth Lim who won our logo creation contest back at the launch of the show. We still love it and we still appreciate your hard work. Thanks Kenneth!

Quick’n’Dirty Social Media Podcast: Episode 5 Recap

qnd_logoWow, have we really done five episodes already? Time flies when you’re having fun and getting to learn the ropes of podcasting. Thankfully my co-host Aaron Strout is a veteran and an awesome partner in crime and I’m thrilled with what we’ve accomplished so far — and excited about what’s coming in the future. OK enough tooting our own horn. Let’s get into what we talked about on Thursday, July 2.

Since we were heading into a long holiday weekend, Aaron and I decided that we would just make this show fun, and take things a little bit different. So we did. We combined our special guest with our case study of the week. I know, there’s no stopping the insanity!

  1. Guest / Case Study: Kyle Flaherty, director of marketing for Breaking Point Systems, came on to talk about the success that this testing systems company that creates tools for network equipment manufacturers is leveraging social media. In other words, Flaherty and the Breaking Point marketing team (including powerhouse Pam O’Neal) are continuing to defy the notion that social media is harder to successfully implement in a B2B environment. He shared some real challenges and lessons learned, as well as some metrics that show how Breaking Point truly is benefiting from its progressive marketing strategy overall.
  2. Point / Counterpoint: Facebook fan pages vs. Facebook connect. We explain how each of them work and the pros and cons when it comes to businesses benefitting from Facebook. We also talk about the downsides of certain approaches. Who took which side? Which do we like better? Listen and find out.
  3. Social Network: Daily Mile is my new favorite discovery and I’ve been using it now for a few weeks. For those who don’t know I am (slowly, painfully) training for an endurance event later this year, and I saw a friend of mine update his Facebook status with his run time. He did it via Daily Mile and I soon signed up as well. Hear me explain how Daily Mile works, how it helps with endurance training, and how it’s a fun social network all on its own.
  4. Exec on Twitter: Each week we talk about someone on Twitter (or any social network, really) that is making an impact. It started out on the executive track,  but we’ve started to loosen the definition and focus on any individual or project that is, to us, making a difference. I was thrilled this week to talk about Technically Women, a new blog collaboration with a host of fantastic ladies — Cathy Brooks, Laura Fitton, Maggie Fox, Rachel Happe, Adele McAlear, Francine McKenna, Anne Kathrine Petteroe, Marilyn Pratt and Susan Scrupski.

Catch the replay here or find us on iTunes by searching for “QuicknDirty Podcast”!

Next Week: We’ll give away a 2-day pass for Blog World Expo! Want to win? Follow @QuicknDirty on Twitter for instructions on how to win. The instructions will come about 24 hours before our next show!

Following Week: We’re really excited to have Tim Westergren, CEO of Pandora, as our special guest for July 16.

Finally, a question for our listeners: We’re thinking of moving the show to 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET (it’s currently on at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET). Please let us know if that works for you either by commenting here or letting us know on Twitter.

The circle of social media

A few weeks ago I was invited by Susan Etlinger of the Horn Group to speak on a panel at her agency’s off site planning meeting. The subject? Social media and public relations best practices. Perfect.

On Friday, I joined Susan, Joe Ciarallo of PRNewswer and Adriana Gascoigne of Hi5 to discuss the social media landscape and even the recent “PR is dead” meme. It was nothing short of an awesome experience — so great that I couldn’t stop yapping about it for the rest of the afternoon (much to some of my coworkers’ chagrin). We tackled a lot of issues on both the media and PR sides of the fence, including:

  • Evolution of social media as a consumer/business tool
  • Emerging best practices for social media
  • Our favorite social networking tools (mine was Twitter – shocked?)
  • The challenges of social media for the enterprise
  • SEC’s recognition of blogs for meeting Reg FD requirements
  • How journalists are using social media
  • Our predictions for top headlines six months from now
  • The funniest (or most disastrous) pitches we’ve ever received
  • Mistakes and succeses among PR practictioners
  • Trying to move the social media needle in a conservative company

And so on…

I walked away with a lot of new information that I learned from my incredibly talented co-panelists — much of which will make it into this blog and my ZDNet blog in the coming weeks. But while the panel was a great experience my drive back from San Francisco to Sunnyvale was full of musings about how I learned all of this in the first place.

It started with the Horn Group.

In December, after getting approval to start pushing through some social media programs at my company, I attended a Horn Group webinar that taught the fundamentals of social media — and the focus was around microblogging via Twitter. Kyle Flaherty, then on the Horn Group team, was adding new people to his network there on the spot. I joined. I tweeted.

My world completely opened up.

Now, I already knew the basics of social media so I wasn’t totally green when I attended this event (I’ve been a Web tool nerd since I was in college). But I’d never heard of Twitter and I didn’t even have a blog. I could go on for pages about my experiences over the last nine months but I’ll keep it short and sweet — if it hadn’t been for Kyle’s passion for the craft I might not have joined Twitter, formed the network I have now nor would have this cool platform or my ZDNet gig. Nor would I have been able to help SOURCE Boston, RSA Conference or Black Hat with their social media projects. Nor would I have been able to as effectively done my current day job. And I wouldn’t have made some of the incredibly amazing friends who pushed me to do more.

I said at the panel on Friday that Kyle is a mentor to me. I meant that. I followed his lead. I watched the way he engaged with his network on Twitter and his blog readership. Through him I found others who had the right perspective for engaging (i.e. “be yourself”) and everything grew from there.

Kyle’s since left the Horn Group and is now the director of marketing over at BreakingPoint Systems, running interactive marketing programs from the inside. Now I’m working with him as a blogger, having had him successfully pitch me for a ZDNet story (no favoritism; it was a good pitch). I emailed him in the middle of it all and said how funny I thought it was that I’m now writing about the topic he’d taught me so much about just by doing his thing. I said that I likely would still be clueless if we hadn’t crossed paths. His response? Something along the line of “Nah, you’d still be the prolific blogger you are today if we hadn’t connected.”

I don’t think so. Though I do not want to diminish my own blood, sweat and tears that went into my social media education and the countless hours of conversations and experiences that helped me gain perspective, I know that the stars were aligned when I stumbled upon Kyle’s webinar.

Thanks Kyle, for everything.

Five Twitter Imperatives

When I first began micro-blogging on Twitter I did massive amounts of research on all of the nuances that I thought I had to understand before truly reaping the benefits. While there were many great resources, in the end I only understood one thing — I didn’t know where the !%@# to start.

I was recruited specifically into the Twitter fold by Kyle Flaherty during a Horn Group social media boot camp in which he received live tweets from webinar attendees as he gave his presentation. After signing on (and adding Kyle, of course), I just dove in. I tweeted such innocuous comments as, “I ate toast today” (side note: much to my network’s chagrin, I still tweet such thoughts) to get a feel for the concept of communicating my minute-by-minute thoughts in less than 140 characters.

Over a short time, however, I’ve built a modest yet steadily growing network of social media folks, network security geeks, hockey fans and random funny people by not only asking people who they might recommend but using the following tools:

  • Twitter Client: OK, so this one is less about learning the ropes of Twitter but it’s a must-have vehicle for improving your experience. It’s much easier to keep up with your friends if you have a desktop client that pops up messages or allows you to check in with only a couple of clicks (hint: In Snitter, which is my client of choice, the “replies” and “direct” tabs are my best friend. I never miss anything of importance).
  • Twitter Packs: Only launched in the last couple of days (and sadly, unnecessarily controversial), Chris Brogan‘s Twitter Packs brainchild is a interactive community-managed wiki that allows Twitter users to search out folks to follow by area of interest or geographic region. I’ve already found much value in both putting myself into a few groups and also adding new friends based on the groups in which I am interested. Check it out — the password is on the site.
  • Tweet Scan: A real-time Twitter search, Tweet Scan provides its users an engine with which they can search via keyword interest. In addition to the web-based portal, there is a toolbar plug-in for Mozilla Firefox.
  • Tweeterboard: Boasted as a conversation analytics tool, the Tweeterboard gauges a Tweeter’s influence by the amount of people who talks (or “@s” in Twitter language) to him or her, based on some sort of fancy algorithm that I cannot even begin to try to understand or explain. While I found this helpful it might not have been in the way intended. I’ve never just followed people based on popularity alone — I click through to determine their areas of interest and then see what their followers are saying.
  • Twitter Karma: Last, but definitely my favorite, once you’ve built your network and you start gaining a daily swarm of new followers, Twitter Karma is a fantastic way to manage your Twitter relationships. Twitter is notorious for not being consistent in its notification when you receive new followers, so enter your Twitter credentials and then select your view of either mutual friends, folks you follow but don’t follow you, folks who follow you but you don’t follow, etc., and bulk manage them in a couple of easy clicks.

So there ya have it. I do hope this helps. However, should you choose to brave the big bad interweb on your own to determine which Twitter tools are best for you, I recommend Read Write Web’s guide to and review of Twitter clients and Library Clips’ very intricate list of Twitter tips and tricks.

Am I forgetting anything?


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